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ENGL 205G American Literature I & ENGL 255G American Literature II: Civil War to Present (American Literature II)

This guide is for students in either American Literature course.

Want to browse through some of what we have in the library's collections related to American literary periods, authors, and works since the Civil War? Need some inspiration to help you decide on a specific topic to research? See some highlighted resources below. 

Interested in borrowing one or more of these items? Our physical collections are not accessible to the public this semester, but you can request items using our Library to Go and Library to Go PLUS service. Entries and chapters of titles in the reference collections will need to be digitally scanned. Work with a librarian if you have questions or need help. 

Trends, Events, Authors of this Time Period

The End of the Romantic Period (1830 - 1870)

Trends & Events: experiences of individuals across segments of society, emotional intensity and experiences, frankness in subject matter and tone, natur and the natural world order

Authors: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, others


Realism and Naturalism (1870 to 1910)

Trends & Events: documenting reality and truth, lives of the middle and working classes, human behavior, The Civil War and it's after effects, Reconstruction, the Age of Industrialism

Authors: Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, Bret Harte, Kate Chopin, Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Crane, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Henry James, Ambrose Bierce, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Edith Wharton, others 


The Modernist Period (1910 - 1945)

Trends & Events: disillusionment, loss, nihilism, hope for change and progress, World War I, the Jazz Age, the Harlem Renaissance, the Lost Generation, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II

Authors: Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Faulkner, William Carlos Williams, Hilda (H.D.) Doolittle, Ezra Pound, Sinclair Lewis, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Harriet Monroe, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, E.E. Cummings, Eugene O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, others


The Contemporary Period (1945 - Present)

Trends & Events: themes and subjects become broad and varied, The Beat Generation, The Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Women's Movement

Authors: Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, August Wilson, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, John Updike, John Cheever, Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gloria Anzaldua, Eudora Welty, Maxine Hong Kingston, Robert Penn Warren, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, Maya Angelou, Ha Jin, Sandra Cisneros, David Mamet, Louise Erdrich, Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sherman Alexie, Richard Wright, Philip Roth, Tony Kushner, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Diaz, Colson Whitehead, others

Highlighted Items from the Library's Collections

Library to Go, request items from our collections

Request items from our collections

Available by request for campus pickup or UPS delivery through our Library to Go service.

Submit requests online at https://bit.ly/3j79cPV or find the form at www.northampton.edu/library

Click the image to get the item information for the request, search SpartaCat, or work with a librarian. 

Poetry for Students

Series, multiple volumes
Available online and in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

Short Stories for Students

Series, multiple volumes/
Available online and in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

Short Story Criticism

Series, multiple volumes
Available online and in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

Drama for Students

Series, multiple volumes
Available online and in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

Drama Criticism

Series, multiple volumes
Available online and in Reference at Bethlehem and Monroe

The Feminine No!

eBook
Available online

Student Companion to Mark Twain

eBook
Available online

Jack London's Strong Truths

eBook
Available online

Unveiling Kate Chopin

eBook
Available online

Arthur Miller

eBook
Available online

Gwendolyn Brooks

Available online and at Bethlehem

Langston Hughes

Available online and at Bethlehem

Louise Erdrich

Available online and at Bethlehem

Sherman Alexie

Available online and at Bethlehem

Zora Neale Hurston

Available online and at Bethlehem

Looking for More?

Visit the Finding Books and eBooks, Finding Articles, and Internet Resources pages of this guide to search for help finding more information about topics.